Bingo sites not on Gamstop
Here we have a list of bingo sites not on Gamstop in the UK. It is now more than twenty years since the online gaming boom of the turn of the century. Bingo was at the forefront of this phenomenal growth, and it remains one of the most popular online games in the business. This is particularly the case in the United Kingdom, where bingo has always been a popular pastime, whether in traditional bingo halls, or in the more contemporary setting of online play.
A recent trend has seen increasing numbers of online bingo sites setting up which are not on Gamstop. So what is Gamstop, and what are the positives and negatives of playing on these unconventional sites?
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Table Of Contents
What is Gamstop?
Online bingo sites which wish to be licenced and registered for the UK market must apply for a licence with the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC). This is the body set up by the UK government to regulate the gambling industry. The UKGC effectively ‘sets the rules’ for the industry.
The full list of regulations is of course a massive document which only the highest paid lawyers ever read. Basically, these rules ensure that everything is fair and above board.
Randomness is guaranteed as far as possible, so that all games are proper games of chance, and not biased in favour of the site operator, players in general or indeed individual players. Illegal practices are also prevented and unfair competition, or terms and conditions which would seriously disadvantage the ordinary punter are not allowed.
Today though, these regulations go much further than this. Gamstop is an attempt by the government and the industry to ensure that vulnerable players, who may spend more than they can afford, or have a compulsion to spend more than they intend, are not exploited in any way. Players can voluntarily register with Gamstop. This will then prevent them from joining and depositing funds with online all UKGC licenced gaming sites. This applies to all UKGC registered sites, not just the one the player may be currently playing.
It is important to remember that this site does not encourage any player who is already registered with Gamstop to use any of these alternative sites. If you feel that you may have a gambling problem, have self-excluded before or are in any way concerned that your spending may not be fully under control, we do not recommend trying an online bingo site which is not on Gamstop. If you are tempted, we recommend that you seek further advice and possibly professional help. Always remember the famous adage: when the fun stops, stop.
But the fact remains that deciding to play on a site which does not subscribe to the UKGC and Gamstop scheme brings other linked advantages and disadvantages too. Let’s take a look at some of these…
Advantages of Online Bingo Sites not on Gamstop
- Easier registration process – Online gaming sites which are regulated by the UKGC are required to fulfil a long list of requirements in order to comply with rules imposed by the UK government. One group of such rules is known as ‘Know Your Customer’, otherwise referred to as KYC regulations. These require online casino and bingo sites to carry out a wide range of identification checks when a new player joins the site. Many of these must be carried out at the point of registration, while further checks may be required when the new player makes their first withdrawal. These involve address and bank account checks – basically intended to ensure that the new registrant is who they say they are, and give a valid traceable location. Non-Gamstop sites are not regulated by the UKGC, so they do not have to comply with these additional regulations. They will however, still have to abide by the regulations of the relevant government where they are licenced. These may be less strict than those of the UK, which tend to be relatively stringent. The result of this difference is that it is generally easier and quicker to register and begin playing with a non-Gamstop site when compared with a UKGC regulated title.
- Different payment options – Choosing online bingo sites not on Gamstop means the operator scan offer you some payment options which are not available for UK market compliant titles. This is because credit cards are banned as a deposit method by the UK government. Some other licencing territories do still allow credit card payments though, so these can sometimes still be found on non-Gamstop sites.
- More variety – Bingo sites not on Gamstop mean that you get a more varied gaming experience. As we have seen, bingo sites which are regulated by the UKGC have to comply with a vast array of rules and regulations. These tend to restrict the range of bonuses, promotions and loyalty schemes that gaming operators are allowed to offer. This means fewer options for players. So standard UKGC regulated sites can tend to look a bit samey when compared to the variety available elsewhere in the world. This even applies to the games on offer. Of course, bingo is a relatively traditional game, so the variety of formats available may not vary that much between UKGC regulated and non UKGC licenced sites. However, tastes and popularity of games across nations can vary considerably. In the UK, the 90 ball game is king, whereas elsewhere the 75 ball option can be preferred. You may also notice a greater variety of software styles and look of bingo sites when you experiment with non-UK regulated sites.
- Different bingo rooms – Using a non-Gamstop site to play bingo can mean you get a completely different vibe in the bingo room. UKGC regulated sites are clearly going to be focused on the UK market. Many sites even share players, so you can be playing with roomies who are not actually playing on your site, but elsewhere in the operator’s network. With a non-Gamstop site, you can expect more of an international flavour. Whether you will enjoy this depends upon your own particular viewpoint. Many players prefer to stick with their regular roomies, while others may fancy the excitement of playing with other nationalities and the greater chance of making friends across the world.
- Different games – Formats of bingo are likely to be pretty similar whether you stick with UKGC regulated sites or decide to try a non-Gamstop bingo site. This is not necessarily the case with other games though. Slots and other games can be very different on a non-Gamstop site when compared with a UKGC regulated title. This is great for players looking for a new experience, when choosing a slot or other game to play, but less good for players who are looking for their familiar favourites.
Disadvantages of Online Bingo Sites not on Gamstop
- Lack of UKGC protection – Online gaming sites which are not on Gamstop do not have to comply with UKGC regulations. But this also means that their players do not receive any of the other protections that a UKGC licence brings. These include ensuring that sites are fairly run; owned by reputable people and organisations, and can provide protection in case of disputes. Many non-Gamstop titles are licenced via the Dutch administered Caribbean island of Curacao. Whilst this is a reputable licencing authority, it is not recognised by the UKGC, and the protection it offers to consumers and players is not as strong. You are unlikely to be able to appeal to it in case of a payment dispute, for example. This is a major disadvantage when compared with UKGC compliant sites.
- Little welfare support – Clearly, a non-Gamstop bingo site does not have Gamstop! This means that there is unlikely to be a clear way of blocking a site you wish to avoid. Players who know they have a gambling problem would therefore be very unwise to choose a non-Gamstop site, as has already been indicated. But even for players who don’t believe they have an issue, the protection could be useful if it arises in the future.
- Inferior customer service – Customer service levels can vary across all online gaming sites. Nevertheless, as a general trend, you are likely to experience better customer support levels on UK compliant titles than on an internationally licenced non-Gamstop site.
- Limited payment options – Many non-Gamstop bingo sites can offer credit cards as a payment option, which UKGC licenced sites cannot. On the other hand, some payment options which you would expect to find on UK market compliant titles are not offered. PayPal is offered on many, if not most UK and European licenced sites, but you won’t find it on many non-Gamstop sites. This is because PayPal is an American company, and the US government does not allow it to offer its services for gambling payments in its own and certain other territories. Pay by Phone is also not generally available as a payment choice for players on non-Gamstop sites.
- Data protection issues – Data protection is taken very seriously in by US and European governments. The EU has a strict General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), while the UK has the Data Protection Act (2018). Both offer considerably more protection for your essential personal data (like address and bank account details) than licencing territories used by bingo sites not on Gamstop.
- Different Games – The bingo may look a little different, but the formats should be basically the same. On the other hand, slots on online bingo sites not on Gamstop tend to be stocked with American games, rather than the European flavour favoured on the western side of the Pond. Good for players looking for a new challenge; not so good for players looking for the most popular European titles.
- Sites are unlikely to be bingo focused – The UK market is full of online sites focused on bingo. OK, they always offer alternative games like slots, scratch cards and card games, but bingo is the headline offer. This is unlikely to be the case with non-Gamstop titles. Here, the focus is likely to be on casino games like slots and poker, with bingo as an additional add-on.
Choosing a not on Gamstop Bingo Site
The best tip is to check this site! We do all the leg-work so you don’t have to. Any site which we recommend here has been checked for a variety of categories such as fairness, payment and other facilities, safety and entertainment value.
Of course, it always pays to for you to make your own diligence checks too. Check for poor online reviews, which can be found with a simple Google search (other search engines are available). Well regarded review sites such as AskGamblers are worth a visit too.
At the end of the day, all forms of gambling are a risk. This uncertainty is one of the essential charms which have made gambling one of the most popular pastimes in the history of humanity. Choosing a bingo site is another aspect of risk, while deciding to try a non-Gamstop title adds yet another layer.
In the end, the decision as to whether to play at a non-United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) bingo site is one which will be made according to each individual player’s personal attitude to risk. Players who are tempted to experiment with a non-Gamstop title are likely to have a lower risk threshold than average. Players who are more risk averse will be more likely to stick to the familiar, tried and tested UKGC licenced market.
Ultimately, all gambling is risky. As a general rule, casino operators are rich and gambling companies are profitable. Gamblers tend to be less so, and few make money over the longer term. Most are able to have fun while gambling, and enjoy their wins while they last.
Experienced and accomplished gamblers know that they always need to keep a close eye on their wallets, purses and bank accounts, and never spend more than they can afford. This is the case whenever or wherever playing games online, whether playing bingo on a UKGC compliant site, or on a non-Gamstop title. So enjoy your games, watch your wallets and always be aware of any of the signs of problem gambling.